College Basketball Coach Will Sue Team For $11 Million After He Was Fired ‘For Cause’

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Being a college basketball coach of a Division I program comes with massive pressure.

But it also comes with a mass payday in most situations as well.

That is, so long as you uphold your end of the bargain.

According to the administrators at St. John’s University, coach Mike Anderson wasn’t exactly doing that. Anderson was fired following an 18-15 season in 2022-23. It was his fourth season at the helm of the Red Storm, all of which have seen the program finish over .500.

But Anderson never won more then 18 games in any of the four seasons and never finished above fourth in the Big East. That wasn’t good enough for a program with 14 regular season conference championships and nine Sweet Sixteen appearances.

So Anderson was fired and the Johnnies took the risk of hiring legendary, yet controversial coach Rick Pitino to fill his spot.

Mike Anderson Suing St. John’s Over Firing

The circumstances around around Anderson’s firing, however, are where things get dicey.

St. John’s fired Anderson “for cause,” meaning he does not collect the $11 million remaining on his contract. ESPN’s Myron Medcalf reports that Anderson now intends to sue the university over that decision.

According to the termination letter obtained by ESPN, Anderson was fired for “failure to create and support an environment that strongly encourages student-athletes who are in the men’s basketball program to meet all university academic requirements,” “failure to perform your duties and responsibilities in a manner that reflected positively on St. John’s University … in actions [that] brought serious discredit” to the school and “failure to appropriately supervise and communicate with your assistant coaches.” – via ESPN

Anderson aggressively denied that claim in a statement to ESPN.

“I vehemently disagree with the university’s decision to terminate my contract for cause,” Anderson said in a statement to ESPN. “The for cause accusation is wholly without merit and I will be aggressively defending my contractual rights through an arbitration process.”

It’s hard to blame him. That’s a whole lot of change.

Anderson reportedly hired John Singer of Singer Deutsch to represent him. Singer currently works with Nebraska head coach Matt Rhule in his $5 million arbitration case against the Carolina Panthers.